Elysium Planitia

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This article is about the plain on Mars. For other uses, see Elysium (disambiguation).
Elysium Planitia
Elysium Planitia topo.jpg
MOLA topographical map of Elysium Planitia.
Coordinates 3°00′N 154°42′E / 3.0°N 154.7°E / 3.0; 154.7Coordinates: 3°00′N 154°42′E / 3.0°N 154.7°E / 3.0; 154.7

Elysium Planitia, located in the Elysium and Aeolis quadrangles, is a broad plain that straddles the equator of Mars, centered at 3°00′N 154°42′E / 3.0°N 154.7°E / 3.0; 154.7.[1] It lies to the south of the volcanic province of Elysium, the second largest volcanic region on the planet, after Tharsis.

The largest craters in this Elysium Planitia are Eddie, Lockyer, and Tombaugh. Elysium contains major volcanoes named Elysium Mons and Albor Tholus and river valleys--one of which, Athabasca Valles may be one of the youngest on Mars. On the east side is an elongated depression called Orcus Patera.

A 2005 photo of a locale within Elysium Planitia at 5° N, 150° E by the Mars Express spacecraft shows what may be ash-covered water ice. The volume of ice is estimated to be 800 km (500 mi) by 900 km (560 mi) in size and 45 m (148 ft) deep, similar in size and depth to the North Sea.[2] The ice is thought to be the remains of water floods from the Cerberus Fossae fissures about 2 to 10 million years ago. The surface of the area is broken into 'plates' like broken ice floating on a lake. Impact crater counts show that the plates are up to 1 million years older than the gap material, showing that the area solidified much too slowly for the material to be basaltic lava.[3]

The InSight mission is expected to land on Elysium Planitia in September 2016.[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ USGS Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature entry for Elysium Planitia
  2. ^ Young, Kelly (2005-02-25). "'Pack ice' suggests frozen sea on Mars". New Scientist. Retrieved 2007-01-30. 
  3. ^ John B. Murray, JB; Muller, JP; Neukum, G; Werner, SC; Van Gasselt, S; Hauber, E; Markiewicz, WJ; Head Jw, 3rd et al. (17 March 2007). "Evidence ... for a frozen sea close to Mars' equator". Nature 434 (7031): 352–355. Bibcode:2005Natur.434..352M. doi:10.1038/nature03379. PMID 15772653. 
  4. ^ Webster, Guy (4 September 2013). "NASA Evaluates Four Candidate Sites for 2016 Mars Mission". Latest News. Jet Propulsion Laboratory. 

External links[edit]


Mars Quad Map
About this image
0°N 180°W / 0°N 180°W / 0; -180
0°N 0°W / 0°N -0°E / 0; -0
90°N 0°W / 90°N -0°E / 90; -0
MC-01

Mare Boreum
MC-02

Diacria
MC-03

Arcadia
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Mare Acidalium
MC-05

Ismenius Lacus
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Casius
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Cebrenia
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Amazonis
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Tharsis
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Lunae Palus
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Oxia Palus
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Arabia
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Syrtis Major
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Amenthes
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Elysium
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Memnonia
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Phoenicis
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Coprates
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Margaritifer
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Sabaeus
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Iapygia
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Tyrrhenum
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Aeolis
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Phaethontis
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Thaumasia
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Argyre
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Noachis
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Hellas
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Eridania
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Mare Australe